9 Mar 2019 37 comments

How I Refreshed Our Kitchen Shelves.

A kitchen refresh…

If there’s one thing I’m pretty vocal about, it’s open shelving! I’ve truly never seen a set of shelves I haven’t fallen in love with, they look at home in every single room. What’s more, you can reshuffle them so effortlessly and just like that, you have an entire new space!

I had a lot of people questioning me when I said we were going to skip out on upper cabinets in our kitchen and instead go for open shelving, but I’m so glad we decided to do it. Even now, three and a bit years later, I still love having everything in reach (note the cocktail shaker has pride of place!), not to mention that satisfying feeling of a fresh space when I take an hour to give ’em a bit of a reshuffle.

I decided to change up the shelving in our kitchen at the start of the year so I thought I’d share a few ways I did this. I’ve already covered my styling tips, so I guess this is just a bit of a refresher – how you can rejig your shelves without spending a fortune doing so.

Switching White For Wood

I didn’t plan for our kitchen to be so white, although as we all know I do love a bright space! We originally planned the kitchen around our wooden floors, but we had to tile over them eventually because the original floorboards really didn’t wear well, so we were left with white walls, white cabinets, white floors and white shelves – it was a little much…
I decided to switch the shelves up for some wooden open shelves and I made the right choice, they’ve added a bit of colour and texture in to the room. It was the perfect base for working in a whole new vibe to the room!

I Played With Height

This is the secret to open shelving if you ask me! When it comes to styling my shelves, no matter which room they may be in, I love to place a couple of objects of varying heights together – whether it be a stack of side plates, a pretty jug or vase, or something decorative like a lovely leafy plant. This helps to break up the space a little by drawing the eye up, whilst also giving a bit of dimension.
I also like to lean big framed prints on shelves, or to stack books and use them as a sort of step to add other trinkets or items – it creates a foundation to work around, making the whole styling process so much easier.

I Added Personal Details

Another thing I adore about open shelving is you have free rein to add your own personal touch and creative flair; you can totally express yourself with your favourite possessions! This works so well in our kitchen because we use this room so much, it really is the heart of our little home. On one side, the shelves are rammed with Jordan’s coffee essentials – from the Chemex to the Acme cups and the bags and jars of coffee beans!
The other side, which sits above the cooking area, is more my side – I love cooking so the shelf is littered with jars of ingredients, fresh herbs and bowls of garlic, lemons and garnishes. It’s functional because I have everything I need within reaching distance, but I’ve made it look aesthetically pleasing too!

I Injected More Colour

Whilst my kitchen is mostly minimal and white, I crave a more colourful kitchen-life – and a non-permanent way to do this is with accessories! The beauty of open shelving is that they give you the power to add colour through decoration, so adding intricate accessories including mugs, chopping boards, pots and bags of coffee makes the process oh so fun.
I love changing up my shelves from season to season, adding in more pastel picks in spring or more wood-toned and warm additions come autumn – who doesn’t love a seasonal refresh?!
As always, greenery plays a bit part in my home and I love the fresh, earthy hues it adds – I also love displaying fresh fruit on the shelves, there’s always a big pile of lemons and limes, as well as a bunch of bananas.

I Embraced The Randomness

We have high ceilings in our Victorian tenement which does add a lot of character and creates a really airy space, but they can also be seriously hard to work with! All the rooms are at risk of looking very bare, so I love cluttered shelves to add some life. I personally prefer effortless shelving so I always try not to overthink it – the randomness is what makes it all come together!
When the shelves in our pantry were first done, our joiner had popped all the jars of dry goods and our mugs and plates back on at random, and it looked so good! I realised there was some magic in just putting items on the shelf and not getting too invested in it, so that’s honestly my approach from now on!

I hope this inspires you to give your own shelves a bit of a rejig, it really does give the room a whole new lease of life (and gives you something to Instagram too…)
Are you a fan of open shelving?

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  • Lisa Autumn

    Your interior style is honestly to die for!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • I love your kitchen! I think the wooden shelves are a great contrast from the whiteness of your kitchen

    Ciara | https://teatimewithciara.com

    • Hey Ciara. Thank you – I love the additional texture it has created too! x

  • I can just stand there just to cook and wash for days … such a simple yet stylish and beautifully decorated filled with individual charm and loving touches. You have got that golden touch Gorgeous one! This definitely belong in the magazine! Have yourself a fabulous weekend!

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    • Hey Mia. Aww that’s so sweet! I think it’s so important to bring a wee bit of ‘you’ when it comes to styling. Hope you had a great weekend too! x

  • Your kitchen is absolutely amazing!

    Danielle xx

  • I really like the vibrant colours!

    Mariya | http://www.brunetteondemand.com/paris-fashion-week-fw19/

    • Hey Mariya! Thank you – that’s what I love about having a ‘blank canvas’ – you can mix it up with colours whenever you please! x

  • I use open-shelving in my bedroom and it definitely makes the space feel more personalized! You’ve inspired me to try open shelving in the kitchen of my next apartment!

    Melody | @mezonthemove

    • Hey Melody! Oh it’s a complete game-changer, would 100% recommend trying it out in different spaces. Once you start open shelving – you can’t stop!

  • I love all the colors! So pretty 💕

    Arianna | Southernbelleforever.com

  • OMG these are so beautiful!

    Candice xx


  • Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful. I love this style so much. I really like the wooden elements. x

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

    • Hey Antonia, thank you so much that means a lot! A little touch of natural materials including wood and rattan adds so many interesting textures. x

  • All of these are so pretty! X

  • I’ve been obsessed with open shelving as well <3 🙂 It's soo pretty and adds so much space to a room!

    XO, Elizabeth T.

    • Hey Elizabeth! You are so right, it is also highly addictive! x

  • Jo Malone’s hand soap in the kitchen is a classy touch, good job!!

    Miki x | https://littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.com/

    • I’m never without it! Thanks Michela. x

  • I’m so in love with your interiors style! Such a beautiful and cosy kitchen xx


    • Hey Ana! Thank you so much, I always think of comfort first over anything. If something is not comfy or practical – is there even a point? x

  • The natural wooden shelves look great 🙂


    • Thanks Ellenor, open shelving is just never ending fun really, just love it! x

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    网址: daxie.521982.CoM


  • Logan Ranhofer

    I love the look of open shelving but have a hard time with the functionality. Maybe it’s because I have two dogs but all I can think about is all the dust that would accumulate. Do you find that you have to dust your shelves and it’s items more often than usual?

    xoxo Logan

    • Hey Logan, it can be a struggle yes! I dust as I go as I am always re-arranging the shelves anyway, so it has become a bit of a habit for me. I do live in a tenement which can get quite dusty, so I’ve always got my duster on stand-by! x

  • GS

    Hi Kate, I love the results, but I was wondering why you didnt just change the wood base of the string shelves? How do you like the string furniture in the kitchen and bathroom? I am wondering about how they keep up with water from dishes or steam/ heat in the bathroom since theyre just veneer. How did you like the depths of the pockets in the kitchen? Thank you!

    • Hey! We actually had the wood shelves on the other side of the kitchen, so really just wanted it to match and compliment the rest of the room. Yeah we really liked the string furniture and worked well with the heat and steam / didn’t rust and were very durable during that time. We just wanted to mix it up a bit and bring some earthy tones back into the room for Spring. x

  • Flo la vita

    It looks amazing! I always love how you style your home, especially the kitchen xx


  • Karama by Hoda

    Loving your tips! Also your backsplash is to die for. 🙂